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John Cage, Morton FeldmanJohn Cage and Morton Feldman In Conversation, 1967 (1967)

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Part 1 (39:25):
This first of a three part conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman was recorded at WBAI in New York between October 18-25, 1967. The segment begins with Cage and Feldman discussing the various ways people perceive intrusion in their lives. The composers then spend some time on the occupation of the artist as "being deep in thought," and what the goals or purposes of "being deep in thought" might be. A brief analysis of Black Mountain College follows before Cage and Feldman return to the idea of being in thought, and the role of boredom in life. The conversation ends with Cage explaining his hesitation towards taking on students.

Part 2 (49:41):
The second part of their conversation was recorded at WBAI in New York on October 24, 1967. Like the first installment, much of this conversation centers on intrusions in the life of an artist. Cage and Feldman look at how everyday tasks such as correpsondence are affected by the artist's desire to not disappoint the public once the public has recognized the artist. Cage and Feldman engage in a fairly philosophical discussion regarding the telephone, and recount some anecdotes about using the phone book. They also return to the topic of "thought" and whether there is a point in life where a person has thought enough. There is also some discussion of composing pieces with very particular challenges (e.g. a one-finger guitar piece).

Part 3 (43:48):
The third and final conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman was recorded at WBAI in New York in October 1967. Cage and Feldman's discussion begins with Cage reading part of an article by the architect Kaufman on disposability. Cage seems fascinated by the idea that the large and small scale is becoming ever more prominent in society, while the importance of the mid-scale is dwindling. Some serious debate ensues when Cage expresses the opinion that we already have quality in the world, and what we are truly seeking is quantity. The two also touch on the role of artists in reaction to the Vietnam War, and how musicians seem frequently absent from the political dialogue. The conversation ends with Cage hypothesizing that the printing press changed the course of life activity toward material

Thanks to the Estate of Morton Feldman and the John Cage Trust for permission to share this historic interview. All Rights Reserved.

This audio is part of the collection: Other Minds Audio Archive
It also belongs to collections: Music, Arts & Culture; stream_only

Artist/Composer: John Cage, Morton Feldman
Date: 1967-00-10 00:00:00
Source: Other Minds
Label / Recorded by: WBAI

Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs


All Other Minds programs available, with additional print and photo materials, at http://www.radiOM.org.

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Reviewer: rchrd - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 25, 2004
Subject: Radio Happenings I-III?
Apparently these three conversations are some of the Radio Happenings I-V that were published in 1993 by Musiktexte, Köln. I wonder what happened to the missing parts? Looks like we need to do some research on this. Reports from the field indicate that the third conversation may be Radio Happening IV in the Musiktexte book. It could be there is another tape in the archive. We'll keep looking for it. -- Richard Friedman